March 21st, Washington, D.C. — “With HR 761, the so-called Critical and Strategic Minerals Production Act of 2013, the mining lobby and its Congressional champions clearly want more than just to have their cake and eat it too.
The 1872 Mining Law gives mining companies billions of dollars of public minerals for free, and it also gives mining companies – foreign or domestic – first claim on public land use wherever they find minerals.
Despite the 1872 Mining Law, and despite billions of dollars in direct and indirect subsidies, with HR 761, the mining lobby has the gall to suggest that the U.S. isn’t a favorable mineral investment destination due to ‘burdensome’ federal oversight like the National Environmental Policy Act.
Fortunately, we don’t have to trust the mining lobby. An international annual survey asks the people that actually decide where to invest in mineral development — mining company executives and managers – if U.S. mining regulation is a deterrent to investment. Their answer: no.
The 1872 Mining Law has been providing mining companies with free cake for over 140 years. With HR 761, the mining lobby doesn’t just want to have their free cake and eat it too; they want to keep us from knowing or commenting on the fact that they are eating our cake, and then they want us to clean up their mess.
Adding insult to injury, HR 687 would give the two largest private mining companies in the world, Rio Tinto and BHP, federal public land explicitly-protected from mining by President Eisenhower. Despite the fact that the land involved, Oak Flat and Apache Leap, are crucial to the local tourist economy and sacred to the Apache, HR 687 would override local economic and community objections and give yet another gift to the multinational mining industry.”